About the Artist
The glazed terra-cotta technique invented by Luca della Robbia (1400–1482), along with his exceptional skill as a sculptor, placed him firmly in the first rank of Renaissance artists in the 15th century. As it was passed down to family members and developed further by each generation, the terra-cotta technique achieved new heights of refinement and durability in modeling and color, and was praised for combining elements of painting and sculpture into a new and (in Vasari’s words) “almost eternal” medium.
These National Gallery of Art holiday cards feature a detail from Madonna and Child (c. 1475) by Luca della Robbia. The inside greeting reads: "Wishing you peace and joy at Christmas and throughout the New Year."
The Christ Child is depicted reaching out for lilies like a baby might reach for an attractive toy, emphasizing the miraculous humanity of Christ. Lilies are a symbol of the Virgin Mary and the shining white glaze of the figures highlights their purity and holiness.
- 16 cards, 16 envelopes
- 6.75 x 5 inches